Barry RFC 24 - Llantrisant 36

ALTHOUGH Barry RFC lost at unbeaten Llantrisant by 36 points to 24, the scoreline does not truly reflect the improvement shown by Barry this week and had the home team not been gifted two tries from some poor refereeing decisions, may well have earned their first win of the season.

The early minutes saw the home side attacking at every opportunity with the pace of their backline evident from the start. Barry's defence was well organised and held firm until conceding a penalty which gave Llantrisant the lead.

Not to be outdone Barry launched their own offensive with the ball being kept in hand as they threatened, forcing the home team to concede a penalty and a fine kick by Scott brought the scores level.

With their speedy scrum half orchestrating matters Llantrisant began a series of attacks, but the Barry defence was effective and halted their progress.

One such attack left them with a scrum near the Barry line and it was the home number nine who created the space for a try wide out to leave the score at 8 - 3 after 13 minutes.

Barry again came back on the attack and more than once looked to have broken through only for the final pass to not been taken or knocked on. They were to be rewarded as the home side conceded a penalty, kicked by Scott to bring the game down to a two point deficit on 20 minutes.

The next period saw attack and counter attack from both sides with chances at either end but resolute defence stopped the scoreboard moving until a further penalty for Llantrisant broke the deadlock.

Further attacks were launched by the visitors as a clever chip from Scott created a chance short of the line but as Barry recycled the ball it was knocked on.

As the half drew to a close it was the home side who looked the more likely to score, but over eagerness and good tackling kept them out.

The Barry scrum was beginning to struggle and after being driven back the resultant maul saw the home side spread the ball at pace, with an element of crossing too, to score a try which gave them the lead at 16 - 6.

There was still time for Barry to come back and such was the pressure they put the home side under they earned themselves two successful penalties which brought the score at half-time to 16 - 12, just rewards for the hard work they had put in in both attack and defence.

Barry started the second period with some clever handling and threatened the visitors line but were unable to get the breakthrough and it was the home side who went further ahead from a penalty.

Llantrisant saw this as their chance to put the game to bed and with their scrum half running the game scored another try from what appeared to be a forward pass and against the run of play to put them 24 - 12 in the lead.

Problems increased for Barry when the struggling scrum was forced into conceding a penalty try which with the conversion left the score at 31 - 12 with still 20 minutes to go.

Lesser teams may have given up at this stage but such is the character of this squad that they proceeded to attack from everywhere and had the home side on the back foot and defending desperately.

Taking a scrum against the head on half-way Barry moved to within yards of the line and from a catch and drive at the lineout the ball found Evans to crash over for a well deserved try wide out which went unconverted.

However, the joy was short lived as a penalty to Llantrisant was taken quickly, yards from where the offence took place, which found the Barry defence out of position and led to an unconverted try and a lead of 36 - 17.

Minutes later with a Barry player about to cross for a well worked try the referee called play back for a previous infringement and awarded Barry a penalty just short of the line. Barry were not to be denied and the resultant scrum saw Barry drive over for Hollister to get the try converted by Scott to bring the score to 36 - 24.

The final minutes belonged to Barry but try as they might they were unable to get that extra score which would have given them a bonus point which the performance richly deserved.

Barry's best performance of the season to date but for being on the wrong end of some refereeing decisions this could have been their first win of the season in the league.

The squad must be applauded for their effort on the day where at times they played some good attacking rugby matched with a resolute defence.

Next Saturday Barry entertain Aberdare kick-off 2.30pm.

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